GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – The Adirondack Thunder faced the Brampton Beast Friday in the first game of a three-in-three this weekend. The two teams had faced off ten times prior to Friday’s contest, splitting the series at five wins apiece.
Brampton’s Nathan Todd got his team on the board first, with a power play goal at 8:28 of the first period. The puck had taken a weird bounce off Adirondack goaltender Eamon McAdam and ended up in front of the open net for Todd to poke in. The Thunder were unable to capitalize on any of their chances, and as has happened all too often this season, Adirondack found themselves trailing after the opening frame.
Once the second period began, however, it took very little time for the home team to begin their comeback. Skating toward the Beast net with a defender all over him, Thunder forward John Edwardh fought off the pressure and backhanded the puck past goaltender Alex Dubeau to tie it up less than four minutes in.
Edwardh: “It was a good play by Zabby (Casey Pierro-Zabotel). he kind of faked a dump-in, so the guy moved his stick and it gave me the opportunity to get in there by myself.”
Adirondack took the lead 3:31 later. Matt Salhany had a Grade A chance on Dubeau, but fired the puck over the net. He quickly regained possession of the puck and made sure his next shot went in.
The Thunder extended their lead just over four minutes later. With McAdam off for an extra attacker on a delayed Beast penalty, Edwardh scored his second of the night, chasing Dubeau as Andrew D’Agostini came in to replace him in net. The home team went into the final frame with a two-goal lead.
Salhany: “We’ve found ourselves in a hole many times this year, and the second period especially we haven’t played so well. so it’s great to come out, get the bounces, get momentum going our way, and not look back.”
And the Thunder didn’t look back. Instead, they picked up right where they left off, putting the puck in the net.
With teammate Nikita Popugaev in the penalty box for a roughing minor, Salhany scored his second of the night. He picked up the puck along the boards, skated in alone on D’Agostini, and backhanded it into the net.
Mike Szmatula extended the Thunder lead to 5-1 when he fired the puck past the Brampton netminder.
Edwardh closed out the scoring at the 15:03 mark with another backhander, completing his hat trick.
The second-year pro has played exceptionally well for Adirondack, racking up 59 points in 54 games last season, and 16 points in 15 games since returning via trade last month.
Edwardh: “A lot of great people in Cincinnati, but I was never really completely comfortable. It was nice to come here and be with a lot of familiar faces, obviously a familiar coaching staff, familiar with the area. It’s done a lot for my season.”
Next, the Thunder face the Maine Mariners on Saturday before closing out the weekend with the Reading Royals on Sunday afternoon. Adirondack continues its five-game homestand February 28 and 29, also against Reading. The Thunder have a 4-6-3-2 record against the Mariners, and have gone 1-3-0-0 against the Royals this season.
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